Friday overview

Markets across Europe closed higher on Friday after Bank of England (BoE) Governor Mark Carney said the chances of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without a deal were "uncomfortably high." His remarks sent the pound lower against the greenback shortly after. Meanwhile, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini stated that Brussels will work towards improving economic ties with Iran despite sanctions.

The FTSE 100 was 1.10% higher at the end of the trading session, with Mondi plc surging 7.92% following positive earnings release. The DAX gained 0.55% at the closing bell, with the clothes and shoes manufacturer Adidas rising 2.51%. The CAC 40 closed 0.33% in the green. Credit Agricole increased 2.30% on strong profits report.

Nissan Selling Electric Battery Unit

Japanese carmaker Nissan reached an agreement to sell its rechargeable batteries unit to Chinese renewable energy firm Envision for an undisclosed sum, the two companies announced. Envision will acquire a majority stake in Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC), which was established by Nissan in 2007 to manufacture lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, while Nissan will keep a 15% stake in the business whose headquarters will remain in Japan.

Envision's founder and CEO Lei Zhang said that Nissan's batteries are already among the safest and most advanced in the industry, but announced plans to use the Chinese firm's IoT technology to improve them further. Namely, Envision noted it will upgrade the AESC's production facilities in Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States to enable the production of higher density, long-range electric batteries. Meanwhile, Yasuhiro Yamauchi, Nissan's chief competitive officer noted the sale will allow the carmaker to focus on the development of its electric cars.

Last year, Nissan had agreed to sell the rechargeable battery business to China's GSR Capital but canceled the $1 billion deal last month, noting GSR did not have sufficient funds for the purchase.

The Week Ahead

After a week jam packed full of economic, central bank and corporate earnings releases, we start to see things calm down a little. That being said, there is still plenty to sink our teeth into, with rate decisions from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) and Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), alongside a host of numbers from China (trade balance and inflation) and growth data from the UK.

On the corporate front, keep an eye out for Walt Disney earnings, with the stock just 4% from record highs. Closer to home, HSBC headlines the UK listed earnings reports, in a week which sees more coming from the UK than the US.